I’ve been thinking on the topic of buying new computer gear recently. This is aimed mostly at freelance / business owner types who are generally in charge of purchasing their own stuff. So, without further ado:
Don’t skimp on quality stuff
This is what you’ll be using for the next few years - EVERY DAY. It is totally worth it to spend a little more for good quality. As they say, quality is remembered long after cost is forgotten.
Buy on the upward curve
Few things are more disappointing than your gear being out of date soon after you’ve bought it. Technology updates generally come in waves. I made this mistake at the beginning of the year, when I bought a new laptop right before the next model was released.
Don’t wait until it’s critical. Plan ahead for your next update. Waiting till your current gear fails is a sure fire way to end up getting something you’re disappointed with. I made this mistake earlier in the year also, when I had no option but to buy immediately.
Think about what you’ll actually need
Think carefully about how you’ll use your gear. Do you only ever work at the office, or do you work from home also? Is having one single machine a better choice, or would two machines be better? Laptop, desktop or both? Getting this right the first time will save you $$.
Replacing your gear more regularly also has the benefit of having a semi-recent machine on standby if your new stuff fails (assuming you keep the old one). A spare machine can be a life-saver if your primary one is the repair shop for a week.
If you’re a business owner, you can also write off tax and depreciation at fairly generous rates, making the final cost a lot less than it seems.